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NEW YORK (WFAN) – In what was a clear statement by the baseball writers, no players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday afternoon.
Many of the players on the ballot — such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — have been directly linked to steroids and performance-enhancing drugs, while others — such as Mike Piazza — have drawn suspicion.
It was a landmark vote, and former baseball players, writers and fans have been weighing in on the decision and what it means for the sport going forward.
Steroid use in baseball brings out passionate opinions, and Hall of Fame pitcher Goose Gossage has been outspoken in his view that cheaters do not belong in the Hall.
“Nobody got in, and the guys that are performance-enhancing drug users … I think (the voters) sent them a statement that they didn’t get in, and nor should they ever get in,” Gossage told WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Thursday.
The nine-time All-Star believes that Clemens and Bonds — both of whom would have very likely been enshrined in Cooperstown even without allegedly using steroids — should never be voted in.
“You made a choice, and are we going to reward these guys with an election to the Hall of Fame? I don’t think so,” Gossage said. “…What kind of a society and what kind of world are we living in where we reward these guys for cheating? What kind of message does that send? And you know what? If any of these guys ever get in, I probably will never go back to the Hall of Fame.”
75 percent of the vote is needed to gain election into the Hall. Both on the ballot for the first time, Clemens and Bonds received 37.6 percent and 36.2 percent, respectively. McGwire received 16.9 percent, Sosa received 12.5 percent and Rafael Palmeiro received 8.8 percent.
Craig Biggio came the closest to being elected as he received 388 votes (68.2 percent). Legendary Met Mike Piazza, widely regarded as the greatest hitting catcher of all-time, received 329 votes (57.8 percent).
“I think you’ve got to vote him in … He’s got the numbers,” the former Yankee great said. “But I’ll tell you this: If you are found to have used performance-enhancing drugs and you are in the Hall of Fame, the plaque ought to come down.”
In addition to Biggio and Piazza, the only other players to receive more than 50 percent of the vote were Jack Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent) and Tim Raines (52.2 percent).
“They’ve got to make an example (of Bonds and Clemens),” Gossage said. “If they let them into the Hall of Fame, they might as well forget about testing and everything else.”
What is your take on Goose’s sentiments? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…